Truthful Rom-com? From Juno (2007) writer Diablo Cody and Director Jason Reitman, Young Adult is funny, slightly dark film about about Mavis (Charlize Theron) a divorced writer returning from the big city Minneapolis to her hometown in the attempt to get her ex-boyfriend Buddy (Patrick Wilson) back.
Outsiders view of Mavis is that she is a cold-hearted bitch, insiders view – she is completely lonely, damaged and does not know how to be happy. Suffering writers block, she continuously avoids calls from her publisher and always listens into teenage conversations for inspiration. Things are not going well: Mavis lives off diet coke, there is a good chance she is an alcoholic and has Trichotillomania (pulls out her hair). In essence Mavis is a hot mess but believes if she can get Buddy back she will be happy. This little plan developed when she received an email from the very happy Buddy & his wife Beth (Elizabeth Reaser) welcoming their new baby girl.
Their happiness is a hurdle Mavis fails to overcome and she receives comfort from a disabled man named Matt (Patton Oswalt) who she could not remember from high school. She hates the small town and is made to feel that everyone there knows something she doesn’t, they feel sorry for her but buddy’s sister convinces her not to change, emphasising the town people aren’t even living. Although the recent journey we see may have left Mavis with a new perception about herself it seems the adventure has helped her overcome her writers block ending with Mavis finishing her book and driving away in her wrecked car. Wrecked but moving on.
Containing some squirmy moments Cody and Reitman deliver a refreshing take on the typical romantic comedy. Theron is sublime as Mavis, she is insensitive, unlikeable and mean. It doesn’t bother her that girls from high school hate her, or that she wants to destroy a family – we still don’t dislike her.
Young Adult is a unique take on the ‘girl getting the guy’ with a more honest aspect that is usually not portrayed in the happy ever after hollywood movie.